The Room Wine Bar
The Room was opened a few years ago and still mostly stays off the tourist limits. Many tourists in Lviv and even many locals aren't aware of the place - usually, its visitors are IT crowd and local boho. While the name states that the place is a wine bar and it indeed has an exceptionally well-picked list of wines, visitors are offered cocktails as well.
The place's name also hints at its size: a rather tiny room housing a bar and about 5-6 tables to host the guests. That's why a summer terrace is always full of people who come here for a drink or attend of the numerous parties hosted by The Room. The staff is very helpful and will eagerly help with the best duo of drinks and food.
Address: 18, Lesi Ukrainky Street
MolodoZeleno found its home in a quiet city area away from the touristy hubbub. The pub can be reached by a 20-minute walk from the High Castle, making it a great option to finish the day with extensive sightseeing. Interior and the open-air summer terrace boast the abundance of greenery, a stylish mix of concrete and wood reminding of a loft. MolodoZeleno is a project of the Lviv's Night Mayor Chad Zoratly and his team.
The menu here is heavily focused on meat with special steaks made on an Argentine grill. To top the meal, MolodoZeleno offers three exclusive types of beer you won’t find anywhere else opposed to the mass-market brands. On Fridays and weekends, guests can indulge in live music by Lviv DJs.
Address: 20, Dzherelna Street
Libraria Speakeasy Bar
Kyiv is not the only city in Ukraine that follows the trend of speakeasy bars. Lviv's most notable speakeasy is Libraria - the spot officially opened at the first day of Alfajazz Fest 2016. Way back it hosted jam sessions of famous musicians after their formal concerts at the festival. The bar was packed for 5 nights in a row and even after Alfajazz was over, Lviv's first speakeasy bar remained just as popular.
Libraria is located in the Armenian courtyard, on the top floor of the 15th century stone cottage. Traditionally for speakeasies, not a single sign indicates its location. The bar holds jazz jam sessions and concerts 3-4 times a week. Booking isn't available here, so coming earlier before a concert is a good idea.
Address: 14, Lesi Ukrainky Street
Cat Cafe Lviv
Not many people know that Lviv of all cities in Ukraine boasts a real cat cafe. While similar spots pop up in numerous cities across the country, not many of them manage to stay afloat. However, the Lviv café for fans of pets has worked for a couple years without a hitch. Cat Cafe is located not far from the Saint Yura Cathedral. Visitors are met with loud mews from about fifteen furry friends that live here.
All cats are regularly checked at vets and cared for by the café staff. According to the rules, kids under 12 aren’t allowed to lift cats or take pictures with flash. Admission is free, all you need is to order meals or drinks from the menu and enjoy the purring company.
Address: 47A, Stepana Bandery Street
Lviv has plenty of fine dining spots that offer a view on its majestic downtown area, but often the most well-known of them are fully booked. PartyFon located on the top floor of Roksolana Shopping Mall is easier to access than most.
Many visitors note on TripAdvisor that the food and service are rather average yet it's often compensated by the view on the open-air rooftop terrace. The place gives a close-up view of Bernardine Church and Monastery. At night PartyFon also functions as a club that hosts parties and invites city's best DJs.
Address: 1, Soborna Street
Robert Doms Hop House
Robert Doms Hop House, better known to locals as "Zolotyi Kolos" is one of the best yet secret bars to drink beer in Lviv. The secret hides in its location - the beer hall occupies several large rooms three levels below the Lvivske brewery. Where once was a vault used by the brewery is now a restaurant with modern interior, flat screens, and live music.
The place explores the story of the Lviv brewer Robert Doms, who founded the brewery in the middle of the 19th century. While Robert soon married a local woman and rushed off to Switzerland, his business lives on. The menu here includes 12 types of beer: 6 on tap and 6 bottled ones. As for food, visitors can enjoy traditional Ukrainian and European snacks to beer and business lunches.
Address: 18, Kleparivska Street
4friends Whiskey Pub
4friends Whiskey Pub is a spot often overlooked by tourists - yet English-speaking locals know it quite well. The reason is that the pub has staff that speaks English, as well as more than 200 kinds of whiskey from 12 countries. 4friends Whiskey Pub is located in Halytskyi district, not far from the Lviv Citadel and the Bernardine Church and Monastery.
Apart from whiskey, visitors are lured in with delicious cocktails that include both classics like Bloody Mary and Old Fashioned as well as the bartender’s spin on classics or even the pub’s specials. The pub also serves beer, including craft imported from the UK, the US, the Netherlands and Italy. You will find American Red Ale, American IPA, Belgian Style IPA and many other types.
As for the whisky, 4Friends approaches the matter seriously: one page on the menu is dedicated specifically to Scottish whisky and divided by regions for easier navigation. You will find brands like Glenfiddich, Bruichladdich, and Douglas Laing. Moreover, the pub offers a 20% discount on a degustation set.
Whiskey from other countries is represented by the US, Ireland, Japan, Canada, Australia and even India, Taiwan and Wales. That’s why it’s safe to say whiskey fans will surely find something up to their taste.
Address: 2, Dzhokhar Dudaev Street
Choven is another notable beer spot of the city. The first multitap pub in Lviv offers 16 types of Ukrainian craft beer and often stays a secret location known only to locals. Moreover, the menu is conveniently written to give all possible details: each item has information about strength, bitterness, color and aftertaste.
Moreover, the pub's staff updates the menu every week for those who would like to try something new. Visitors note that the pub offers great pizza and appetizers like chicken wings to top the beer. Apart from this, Choven is known for a good selection of rock music and dim-lit friendly atmosphere.
Address: 33, Virmenska Street
The iconic restaurant-Kneipp ‘Kryivka’, which means «the bunker» in Ukrainian, will most likely always be included in the lists of secret Lviv restaurants. Kryivka is located in the basement of the medieval house on Rynok Square without any sign on the door apart from the peephole. However, this Lviv restaurant can be easily spotted by the long queues of tourists on weekends and holidays.
Sure enough, to get inside you need to say a secret password. Don’t worry, it’s quite simple — “Slava Ukraini”, which can be literally translated as “Glory to Ukraine” or “Long live Ukraine” in a more traditional way. After you say the password, Kryivka’s mighty security guard will let you in.
Dedicated to the Ukrainian Rebel Army UPA that fought for Ukrainian independence during the WWII, the restaurant is a real re-enactment of the army’s good old days: the interior is filled with war artifacts and the food is served in metal plates. The menu here is quite simple: traditional borshch, varenyky, deruny, topped with Ukrainian cordials nalyvkas. The restaurant is opened 24/7.
Address: 14, Rynok Square
The following list is the editor’s choice. All businesses are mentioned in a random order. Photo sources: Facebook and websites of businesses mentioned above, unsplash.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.